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Windows 'phone' isn't dead Part I: Keeping the vision in view

Each OS reboot came with the promise of "this is it". We've gone from Windows Mobile's abrupt end to Windows Phone 7's late beginning as a modern smartphone platform. We encountered another stop at Windows Phone 7.8 as Windows Phone 8 picked up the reigns. Windows 10 Mobile has now arrived, albeit in what many have assessed to be in a premature state not adequately prepared for life outside of Redmond's womb.

The operating system story is only part of the evolving tale. Distribution strategies, partnerships, marketing, hardware development, corporate reorgs and more all play a role in how Microsoft's mobile efforts were birthed, matured and regressed only to be reborn. All of these strategic executions have been to reposition Microsoft's mobile efforts for a more successful rebirth and life in the industry.

In 2016, we are watching a Microsoft mobile strategy that is gestating in a very vulnerable state, while in its retrenched position. This period is a very critical time in Microsoft's history and the company's CEO, Satya Nadella's, long-term vision. To understand the crucial nature of Microsoft's current position, we must understand both how Nadella's vision has brought the firm to this point and where it is intended to take the company next.

The question is, how do we as Microsoft and industry watchers "know" where Microsoft is in their mobile strategy? Well, we don't have a complete view of Microsoft's strategy at all. But as an ultrasound tech learns to distinguish the vital parts of a developing child from distracting blurs populating the view, diligent observation, keen perception and most of all, a persistent eye on the big picture are critical.

Eyes on the big picture

Watching and analyzing Microsoft's dynamic mobile strategy is very much like playing the timeless Shell Game. In that game, a quick-handed gentleman hides a small object beneath one of three cups. After a dizzying repositioning of those cups, the "player" is asked which cup contains the object. In more cases than not the wrong cup is chosen. An astute eye, often with the support of others is often required to keep the object in view.

What may come as a surprise to some is that Microsoft's retrenched status and consequent gestating state isn't news now, nor was it news when it was "news". Confusing I know; allow me to explain. Microsoft's current strategic positioning was not a sudden shift in strategy in response to the industry's state at the time. Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella diagnosed the ailing health of Microsoft's mobile platform over two years ago.

To ensure the platforms survival and long-term vitality, on July 10, 2014, in a memo titled Bold Ambitions and Our Core{.nofollow}, Nadella issued his prescription for Microsoft's mobile division which outlined his short-term goals and long-term vision for the platform. He telegraphed big changes, short-term objectives, that would not begin to manifest until the following year (2015). When they occurred, the industry took notice.

The Nokia write-down, the end of the low-end Lumia push and a move to first-party hardware as aspirational devices akin to how Microsoft executes the Surface model, caught the attention of the industry during the summer of 2015. Apparently Windows Phone died then too. In a 3-part series "Perfect Windows 10"that I wrote in August of 2015, I presented an analysis of Microsoft's mobile strategy that addressed the industries dramatic response to the shifts we saw as Microsoft executed against its long-term vision.

Summer to remember

During June and July of last year many industry watchers viewed statements made by Nadella in emails he sent on June 25th – "Aligning our strategy and structure" and July 8th 2015 – "Sharpening Our Business Focus, an interview on July 14, 2015 with Mary Jo Foley and an earnings call on July 21, 2015 as reactive shifts in Microsoft's mobile strategy. This apparent change in strategy was presumed to be due to Windows Phones poor performance as seen in the Q2 2015 SEC filings.

I contended, however, Nadella's focus on a smaller market, departure from manufacturing a deluge of phones and positioning first-party hardware as aspirational devices was his revisiting what he stated as his long-term vision in July of 2014. What appeared to be responsive shifts in strategy were clearly outlined by Nadella in his July 10, 2014, memo as short-term objectives of his long-term vision. It's critical that we keep our eyes on the larger vision so that during each phase of the long-term strategy we'll have a better chance of understanding what Microsoft is doing and what the company may execute next.

Following is a snapshot of my previous analysis. This snapshot highlights the steps in Nadella's vision which led us to what is now, in 2016, a positioning of Windows "phone" in a state of "gestation" preparing for yet another shot at life in the broader market.

How we got here

Perfect (Windows) 10 Part I: The Nokia Write-down was on the wall

In his July 10, 2014 memo{.nofollow} Nadella foreshadowed the imminent Nokia write-down with a decisive statement that nothing is off the table concerning readjusting Redmond's priorities and simplifying processes.

"Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified"

Almost a year later in his 6/25/15 email Nadella makes clear that Microsoft will execute against its plans and make tough choices.

"We will need to innovate in new areas, execute against our plans, make some tough choices in areas where things are not working and solve hard problems in ways that drive customer value."

Finally in his July 8th, 2015 memo Nadella makes a definitive announcement of the Nokia write-down.

"..the company will take an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business…"

Many industry watchers who viewed the last two memos independent of the first interpreted the write-down as a sudden shift in strategy.

Perfect (Windows) 10 Part II: Value Phones

In his 7/10/2014 memo Nadella{.nofollow} stressed that the low-end push was a near-term strategy. This of course indicated a short-term strategy with a determined end.

"We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia.… Microsoft will push into all corners of the globe to empower every individual as a dual user."

In his July 8th, 2015 memo Nadella announced the cessation of the companies market deluge and the planned move to a more refined market approach.

"We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.

On a 7/21/15 earnings call, Nadella reiterated the end of the low-end push."

"We want to be smart about how many of these phones do we want to generate?...That's where you will see the most significant operational changes from how we operated last year to the coming year."

Nadella was clear in his July 10, 2014, memo that the low-end push was a near-term, thus short-term strategy with a definitive end leading to the current stage of building the ecosystem. Viewing the July 8th and July 21st, 2015 statements independent of the 2014 statement led many to believe Nadella was shifting strategies mid-year.

Perfect (Windows) 10 Part III: Flagships

In his July 10th, 2014 memo Nadella states that the company's first-party hardware will follow the example set by the Surface model.

"Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life. Surface Pro 3 is a great example – it is the world's best productivity tablet. In addition, we will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem."

In a July 14, 2015 interview with Mary Jo Foley Nadella affirms that first-party phones will follow the Surface model.

Mary Jo Foley: "Now what we're doing with phone is more like what you're doing with Surface. Your phones are going to be more of like showcase devices for what Windows Mobile can look like on a phone."Satya: "Correct"

Viewing Nadella's July 14, 2015 affirmation independent of the July 2014 communication caused many to miss the big picture. The industry at large reacted to the "restatement" that first-party phones would follow the Surface model as if it was new information rather than the execution of a short-term goal of a long-term vision shared a year earlier.

These events have led us to the present and to the many misconceptions regarding Microsoft's current position in mobile. Windows phone is not dead. Recent decreases in Windows phones sales and lower sales to come are not indicative of the platforms death. They are simply empirical data reflective of the platforms retrenched position.

Where is Microsoft's mobile strategy today and what's next?

Microsoft's current state in the mobile space is a short-term position of "re-development." As a child gestates in a womb, Microsoft's mobile position is shielded from the general smartphone market while vital components of the ecosystem are being positioned to feed into the platforms ultimate success.

For the next nine months or so, as we anticipate the birth of a first-party flagship that will demonstrate a more mature Windows 10 Mobile OS on custom first-party high-end hardware, Microsoft's long-term vision currently has the firm steadily working on critical aspects of the ecosystem. OEM partnerships, the app bridges, consistent updates to Windows 10/Mobile, interaction with users on social media, responding to feedback from Insiders and more are all critical to Microsoft's current position before their re-entry into the general consumer space.

Microsoft's long-term vision currently has the firm steadily working on critical aspects of the ecosystem.

According to Microsoft CMO, Chris Caposella, this current retrenching from the general market, which began last summer, is only supposed to last two years. That positions the company for a potential introduction of a consumer focused flagship "phone" in Q4 of 2017. This timetable provides time for OEM partnerships and development of the app bridges to flourish. A high-end consumer device released in 2017 will ideally benefit from a much richer app catalogue than we see today. As we know, a vibrant app ecosystem is critical for success in the consumer space.

Additionally, the anticipated Surface "Phone," is expected to be released in Q4 of this year. This device, if launched will benefit from a more mature Windows 10 Mobile OS and likely feature a unique hardware capability consistent with the theme of the Surface line. That unique hardware design, akin to Surface-inspired detachable 2-in-1s, will be positioned by Microsoft to inspire their OEM partners.

Lumia 950 and Surface

Lumia 950 and Surface (Image credit: Windows Central)

Consequently, over the course of 2017, we will likely begin to see manufacturers emulating the Surface "Phone" with their own branded devices. An introduction of "Surface Phone-like" devices will support Microsoft's efforts to communicate its ethos of context-conforming devices, already heralded by 2-in-1s, to the market.

HP's business-focused Elite X3 is a beaming example of the type of versatile, powerful and most importantly, inspiring, Windows 10 "phone" Microsoft's OEM partnerships can produce.

Over the course of 2017, we will likely begin to see manufacturers emulating the Surface "Phone"

When Microsoft presumably reenters the consumer space in Q4 2017, their strategy allows for an industry potentially more welcoming to the platform. The firm will also be re-entering the consumer space with a device consistent with their vision of personal computing, and that fits within the paradigm that they are working to establish during this stage of nurturing its ecosystem while retrenched. This is a vision where the idea of a smartphone will have shifted to what will likely be a hybrid context-conforming device. Additionally, this "phone" will fit seamlessly in the Windows 10 family of devices. For context, if Microsoft reaches its goal, Windows 10 will be on 1 billion devices by 2017.

Microsoft's mobile offensive is about transforming the game

By that time, the Windows 10 experience with the Live Tile enhanced Start Menu will have been at work familiarizing hundreds of millions of PC, laptop and 2-in-1 users with the Windows Phone home screen. If Microsoft's strategy goes as I surmise, a Q4 2017 consumer-focused, first-party flagship will benefit from a rich app ecosystem courtesy of the app bridges as well as a market more acclimated to Windows Phone due to OEM partnerships. Users will also be more familiar with the Live Tile environment, and the industry will likely have a stronger embrace of Microsoft's ethos of context-conforming hardware courtesy of 2-in-1s, the anticipated Surface phone and Surface-phone-like devices.

Wrap up

I concede that my view of Microsoft's strategy may be affected by various factors and may not play out as described. But one thing is sure. Microsoft's long-term vision has always and still does include Windows "phone". As one must keep their eyes on the rapid repositioning of the cups in the Shell Game, we as industry watchers must keep our eyes on the big picture. Distractions will arise; but if we keep the big picture in view, we won't, as is quite easy to do, lose sight of the vision.

Stay tuned to parts two through five as we delve deeper into specific aspects of Microsoft's retrenched - gestating - position.

Part II - Windows 'phone' isn't dead: Nurturing the ecosystem

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

232 Comments
  • Thanks again for reading folks. On a side note I hope you guys who are reading this in our new app are enjoying it. Cool stuff huh? :-) Just as our app took some type develop to fit with the new Windows Universal Platform, there are many factors in motion now on a broad scope working to bring Microsoft's mobile strategy into its place in the UWP. In the next four parts of this series we look at different aspects of the ecosystem that are working to ideally position Windows "phone" for success under the new UWP paradigm.
  • I am reading it on the app! Works great on my PC and Phone.
  • I love the actionable notifications
  • Me too. Now i can comment when i get notification saying i got a reply from..... So and so. The app is cool but still a beta.
  • I still don't receive the notifications Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • You might have turned them off. Or try reinstalling Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Who is reading this on the Windows Central app?
  • Pretty much everyone?
  • I love how WPCentral team can go back in time to comment on these articles ;D On a serious note, this is a good article. I am still hanging to my Lumia 1520 for now.
  • Like the new app , still buggy on my 930, needs font size control.
    As for the OS, I hope it's not dead the HP phone looks great and hoping the surface phone stacks up. MS need to start get the basics right in the OS though now (I.e you can't group text).
  • as I had stated in earlier articles, what Microsoft should is create subsets of the Lumia brand.
    > Entry-level phones will be Lumia E phones
    > Business phones will be Lumia M (or some other letter)
    > Premium phones will be Lumia X This will be a better way to sell phones than going about the Nokia way of 950,950XL,550,650,etc.
  • App is a bit laggy on my 1520 and the text size of the articles is ridiculously big. Hope the text thing will get an update asap. Already posted an idea to daniel on twitter ;)
  • Also I am missing the option to change or edit my posts. ...
  • That is because you only get to say what you want to say once, so choose wisely! Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • The new app is not so stable on my Fierce XL, crashing more often than not. When it does run I like the experience. Article was cool nonetheless.
  • Yeah, the app is still buggy and crash from time to time, but worry not, I believe it's gonna get fixed, better and faster.
  • Crashes for everyone not just your phone.
  • I'm reading this article on the new WC W10 app it's much cooler then the WP8.1 version but still needs some bug fixes
  • "much cooler THAN". Not " THEN". Those two words are not interchangeable. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The app got an update recently? Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • No, windows central rela new app for Windows 10. It's a universal app. Still in beta, but works quite nicely nonetheless. :)
  • No I am using the beta app, and it got an update like last night, version 1.1.10.0 or something, changed some settings and fixed some bugs. Very nice. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • This is a great article. It gives me a little more faith in the platform, even though I plan to stick with it anyway.
  • Great thoughts, Greetings from Portugal
  • I totally understand the time needed to get this Win10 going. However, MS need to grab the bull by horn, and really go at it at 500MPH+ speed ahead. Although I'm extremely enjoying and LOVE my Lumia 950XL, and have just about Apps i can use, there are those who are BoooHoooing and whining, and Crying,......................about the App Gap and they can't live without their Garbage Snap Chat,........so re going to Android or iOS. Even Mr. Ballmer said, he doesn't see why MS is not porting all the Apps from Android or iOS over to Windows 10 NOW. I think MS doing way too much LaLA gagging when it comes to Mobile/Apps. People don't want to wait, and that's why the market share went even lower that last quarter. Also, MS needs to get OPPO, SONY, LG, SAMSUNG, ASUS, LENOVO, SHARP, DELL, SURFACE.................on board of its Windows 10 phns ASAP, and do whatever it takes to have them make Windows 10 phns ASAP. Once that is done, they need to work hard on the "Paid-Off" by Apple, carriers to have these Windows 10 phns in every store (like iJUNK devices) ASAP, when people walk in. People want choices, and will be happy to go to Win10 phns, if they had lots of selections, like its is with Android. Time is NOW(actually was yesterday, if you know what i mean), when it comes to Mobile. Fix App Gap, prob will be solved.
  • Believe believe!!!
  • Looking at that new HP phone gave me a lot of faith... If only Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony would do the same... That's all we need, and hopefully we could get more apps if market share picked up...
  • At least we should have the option of a w10 mobile ROM like on the xiaomi mi4
  • and Xiaomi Mi5 (hopefully)
  • I think that won't make a big dent in the market. But it can increase the devices with windows 10 installed in phones, only if android guys want to move to windows just by installing windows 10 to their android handys.
  • It would take a long time for MS to make a dent in the market.... They should set their ultimate goal at 10% market share...
    .....
    I don't care what people say about MS not trying to compete against iDroid for market share.. They have to have goals, and some expectation to gain market share.. That alone is going up against the iPhone, and all Android devices... Then there's apps.. W10M still is a market share driven platform. What product isn't?
  • Yep, more phones like that and people can't ignore windows phones.
  • Sure they can
  • Their vision is irrelevant as long as their execution has been crap since WP8.1. Last summer I thought that maybe they'd finish W10M (and by finish I mean functional) by late 2015 and maybe, maybe we would have had a proper facebook/messenger/snapchat apps, but those dreams are long gone. As for the OS itself, judging the pace of development of the last 8 months, they'll have W10M ready to go by 2017.
  • I agree. While windows phone 8 actually was great and 8.1 tbh was damn neat as well
  • Windows 10 mobile has been one big let down.
  • Do you even know what you're saying?
  • Please explain the problems on the latest build released 2 days ago, maybe we can help you fix them...
  • For one continuum touch in wireless mode is completely broken
  • Please go on, if this is the kind of problems I guess we are fine ;)
  • Really I need some of those rose tinted specs. Trust me I want MS to do well. But the more I see the less I believe. Every build goes one step forward 2 steps backward. Now on the new build I get my phone scrolling slow all over and need a soft reset. But at least I am used to soft resets as mention continuum touch mouse is now broken. Worked before. I haven't see my wifi stop working and require a reboot so perhaps that is fixed although no mention of it.
  • They don't want them fixed! What would they have to moan about! All these armchair programmers....
  • I dont know when it happened, but somewhere in the last few builds, bluetooth in the car and with my Band broke again on my 950.
  • Well, not released to all phones is a let down. While I like W10M in general, Mobile Hotspot continues to be broken. And today I notice .107 has a habit of turning on WiFi.
  • Yes. Actions speak louder than words. There is certainly potential, but as someone who has used Windows phones since 2003 even I find myself considering the jump to Android despite my hatred for Google. That's how bad it has gotten. Just yesterday I clicked Shut Down on my Win10 computer. It said "Shutting Down" and had the circle of dots only to present me again with my desktop after a couple of minutes. The Microsoft of today can't even get shutting down right.
  • You probably had an update ready to install. With the rest of what you said, I am much the same. I've also had Windows on every phone I've owned since 2003. Much as I really want to stay with a phone running Windows, this fan is growing weary of this marathon. I am losing confidence in Microsoft's plans for Windows on a phone.
  • You got more fortunate in that shut down issue. I had twice issue when my desktop stuck at the shutdown screen indefinitely. :(
  • I disagree.  Nobody cares about it.  On EVERY other website that showed off HP's new phone.... the comments were as hostile towards WP as ever.  Also, on all the WMC summaries, nobody hardly even mentioned the new HP phone.  It's all about Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, etc.  
  • Noticed that aswell, not many mentions of a phone which specs are better then the s7.
  • Maybe because it's not targeted for the consumer market
  • That maybe but from a tech point of view, the spec it good and would have expect
  • A mention
  • Well, frankly, then they might as well throw in the towel. No iPhone- or Android-toting employee will be happy having a Windows phone forced on them. They'll just say they've already got a phone that already gets company email and a laptop for remoting in.
  • You obviously have no idea how the enterprise works.
  • How are the specs better apart from screen/battery size? Same processor same amount of ram. The camera performance is unknown right now. For most consumers specs won't overcome the lack of apps.
  • Off the top of the head... Dual biometric authentication, expandable micro sd memory slot, Continuum, 256 bit encryption, etc... Within an enterprise system, lack of apps is not as big of an issue considering the apps would be strictly maintained anyways.  I think a question to think about is, "What makes these other products better than this one"?  Its a fair question considering...
  • Agreed, it's a fair question and this is certainly a flagship phone that seems well suited for many enterprise applications-but the S7 and LG5 push the buttons that seem to get most users (who only need light enterprise capabilities) excited-the screen, the design, the cameras, a return to sd storage for Samsung and a removable battery for LG; with the app environment that provides more opportunities to use those features.
  • Android has all those things. Encryption, external displays and keyboard/mouse support isn't special or unique. This phone will be a flop. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Maybe so but cannot believe the new s7 does not have type c usb. That is very poor. I also think it is poor that the 650 does not have it.
  • That's saying "this car has 4 wheels like any other car. It will be a flop."
  • I think he was talking about the USB type C.  Or maybe it was the dual stereo speakers he was referring to as being better. No, it is the B&O audio output.  Wait.. apologies, dual biometric authentication.  Dual SIM?  I think HP is targeting businesses with UWP and X86 productivity apps and not on 300K + apps available for consumers.
  • Despite these features, which can subjectively be balanced with bluetooth 4.2, more video capabilities, greater water resistance, liquid cooling and lighter weight (for those who prefer that) in the S7, I think for many-and some have posted here on Windows Central that they acquired android phones or iPhones due to work requirements-the platform as a whole is not flexible enough. I'm currently using the HTC One M8 For Windows, so I'm used to having built in external speakers; but overall phone sales would seem to indicate that most will do without them and use a good set of earbuds and when necessary, bluetooth external speakers.
  • I guess that's hps fault. Its business only phone. Not for the normal buyer. Which just made me hate the windows plattform again.
    I mean there are thousands of ppl out there which want to upgrade from a 1520. And were still waiting. And then they have the change to give ppl the worthy upgrade and boom " companies only "
  • Wait a second... how did the 950 XL not end up being a worthy upgrade?
  • Because they dont want to lose 0,3 inches :D Pretty funny right
  • Crappy slow oled versus top notch ips, but if you want to talk about subjective matters: design
  • The overly-high percentage of bad units all but ruined the 950/XL. I expect that $500-600 of my hard-earned cash spent at the Microsoft store will not have me dealing with a lemon.
  • Just because HP is targeting the enterprise doesn't mean that it's "companies only."  The WC articles on it clearly stated that there'd be avenues for regular consumers to purchase it.
  • But if you hate the platform so much, why are you here? And since when is the 950XL not an upgrade to the 1520?
  • As much as this HP or 950 is a good enterprise phone, I can't use it. My employer is BYOD that uses AirWatch but doesn't support W10M due to obviously less employees using it because of less Apps. Therefore it MSFT is serious about enterprise, windows needs apps that consumers want. Not just a phone that caters to fans.
  • You're right. It's always against Windows and Microsoft itself. That's why I decided not to go certain sites and just ignore them. Oh well...
  • The sites write about what people want to read. We are here reading about Windows Phone and the rest of the world does not care about it as proven by its sales stats. I did notice that sites were talking about how bad it was and it was a prototype but it being preproduction was not even mentioned. One site on how bad the camera was but the video that Rubino did, had not shown the issues they claimed.
  • It doesn't help that's it is an HP phone.  HP is a complete disaster of a company right now and they are as likely to kill that phone before it comes to market or a year after as they are to actually ride it out.  Look at the Palm/WebOS tablet debacle.  Could HP Inc clean house next year and cancel this new phone shortly thereafter?  Yup.  Depressing.
  • @ScutMonkey, to be fair to HP, that was under the old CEO who was fired for that move (and others, like saying that HP was getting out of the PC business). Meg Whitman has been working to get things back on track fairly conservatively. It seems unlikely that she would suddenly change direction on this. This seems like a strategic move and part of a larger plan.
  • All those other sites are probably ones that ran 'Windows Phone is dead' articles and any focus on a new phone would make them feel stupid.
  • As long as there are no apps, the masses wont care. That's the reason for the break right now in pushing WP.
  • The hatred is just a reaction to momentum and bandwaggoning. I don't follow crowds, but instead use what works for me. The problem for me isn't hardware. Biosensors? Megapixel cameras? 3D touch screens? Who really cares if there is no apps that you need every day! The app world assumes you have an iPhone or Android. Too many times I've been stuck trying to manipulate a mobile-browser version of a service. Of course the web versions usually don't have access to your hardware so many features are missing. It's frustrating. The hardware is fine. The OS itself is elegant and slick. Battery life is great. If Microsoft doesn't drive islandwood or get better apps, it will never see 2017.
  • Very well written. Homework done well :)
  • I don't think they can, or will, go forward without "the phone" as part of their "windows everywhere", "Mobile first" and UWP strategies. Windows phone isn't dead at all... it's slowly maturing, learning and growing into the adult it is meant to be Windows 10 as a service for ask your desktop and Mobile devices. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Your not ask...i really need to proofread lol. Also would be cool edit comments on the new app from my phone. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • They bough Nokia branding just for kick start they used Lumia's for their market and awareness about their OS . Now their contract is ending with Nokia as in the end of February they had given life to their OS through their cheap stuff like L353 ,435 ,430 640 ,550 ... Now Microsoft coming to their business point and Introduces a flagship Surface Phone in Q4 2016 about Nokia which is bound till Q4 2016 they will comeback with a blast in MWC2017 with their new mobile devices.
  • They bought Nokia because Nokia was going to build Android phones
  • They will make now Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Right. Deal of exclusive making of WPs was at end and Nokia started making Android phones. If they have continued with Android, that would be major problem for Microsoft, as only brand that kept windows phone alive would abandon them and would send very, very bad image about windows phone os Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's not just about the image, it's that with Nokia leaving WP, the source of about 95% of WP handset sales would practically vanish in an instant (not counting leftover stock etc. obviously). That would have definitely and prematurely killed Windows Phone.
  • I was a big fan of Nokia and that's why I used Lumia that made me like WP but after MS aqucition oF Nokia hardware is dump devices look cheap an unfinished after 2 year they announce a flagship which has not stable software and WP10 should have to release in end of 2015 but still not stability and reliability in build .... Late late so much late
  • Two more years....good grief.
  • IPhone Pro and Cyanogen are the real "windows phones". :)
  • It's an uphill battle for Microsoft. Android already has a billion devices (although fragmented versions).  I don't think Microsoft will be able to catch up now.  They dropped the ball too many times over the years, and it shows.  I have used Windows Mobile since the Pocket PC days (and a brief stint with PalmOS), but I'll probably switch to an Android phone as soon as the Galaxy S7 comes out.  I really don't care for Android, but not having easy banking apps like check deposit really keeps me behind everyone else.  Heck, I must've been one of the few that had a paper plane ticket when I caught my Southwest flight the other week.  Everyone else used their phone to scan and go. Having one billions Windows 10 installs will be great but still won't fully help their Windows store in the mobile area.  Sadly, many developers just aren't interested, lazy, or despise Microsoft (for whatever reason).  I think their desktop store will eventually become a real profitable for them though.  You are just not going to see a full Photoshop app in the Universal App store.  Most other businesses are content with their web presence for desktop use which still causes a problem for Microsoft not having enough mobile apps. I agree with Paul Thurrott's assessment about Microsoft making inroads in the mobile OS arena:  "That ship has sailed." All they can do now is cater to the niche and enterprise markets.  The new HP Elite x3 is a great example of that. I personally think Microsoft buying Nokia was the absolute worst move.  If Nokia was still a separate company, it would have pushed the Windows Mobile past the critical mass point which Elop himself said when the 920 and 1020 had come out.  It was almost there but the transition time when Microsoft absorbed Nokia caused too long of a period between phone releases.  The 950 is a great phone, but definitely nothing that would make somebody switch. Sadly, I'll be moving on soon.  I'm going to pay the remainder on my AT&T Next for mine and my wife's Lumia 950's and trade them in.
  • I think the "problem" is / was the massive development needed for the "one core". Thats the reason why the development of windows mobile was so slow in the past... the foundation was simply not ready and most of the resources where bound to "one core". With Redstone MS will finish one core and then they will redirect more resources to windows mobile development. The long term vision of having a phone that is my "only" computer is great and it is a real usp of windows. When the surface phone will be released continuum will devliery a "real" desktop that is able to run x86 applications. And that is a real game changer... think of this... a surface book that is only a dock for your surface phone... that you have a phone, a tablet, a notbook and a workstation in one device. Thats a very bold vision and only windows can deliver this vision becaus of the incredible mass of x86 legacy windows application nearly every one needs at least one of ;-) I'm a developer and I've developed a  very compley business app for windows 8 than ported it to uwp and than make it work on small and large screens... now it evern rans on a raspberry pi (slow, but it runs ;-)). I can say uwp has really grown up to a foundation you can build on and making it work in small screens was only a small part of the development needed. Windows 10 in desktop is / will be to big to ignore and my own expirience was that is was no big thing to make an app work an a small screen (thanks to xaml). So I think the store will fill up and the most apps will be uwp apps that can run on mobile (because it is no big deal). Looking back it would have been more effektive to focus on "one core" instead of making wp7, wp7.8, wp8, because all of those steps are very frustrating to developers. But with uwp we are on the right track.  
  • If MS had converted to OneCore and UWP back in WP7 time, WP would be in a lot better shape. Personally, I try to avoid non-UWP apps if all possible after I started using L950XL and Continuum.
  • Photoshop is already mobile on the Surface. It's not the same as an app but it doesn't have to be. Microsoft has to be willing to lead, not simply follow to see success which means anybody who actually wants to see Windows Phone succeed has to be willing to do things differently. Change is coming, but people have to be willing to make the change and do things differently than Android and iOS do things now.
  • "I personally think Microsoft buying Nokia was the absolute worst move.  If Nokia was still a separate company, it would have pushed the Windows Mobile past the critical mass point which Elop himself said when the 920 and 1020 had come out.​" I disagree. If Nokia's device division had remained with them, chances are they'd have abandoned Windows Phone, killing the platform in the process. The way I see it, Microsoft's acquistion of Nokia was mainly an acquisition of time.
  • Well said man
  • Windows 10 mobile can continue to exist, BUT they must support android apps out the box. Surface phone is likely to give them that capability. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Supporting Android apps didn't save Amazons Fire Phone and it won't save Windows Phone. Every app that would benefit the Windows Phone experience is made by Google. They are better off developing their competing apps where they are seeing some success (Bing, Outlook etc).
  • Unfortunately competitive app mostly failed... Bing are terrible
  • Bing WAS terrible. At some point over the last year or so, Bing improved enough to actually be a worthy alternative to Google. I now typically use Bing on Windows 10 and sometimes even on Android.
  • I wish Microsoft the best of luck, but I still don't believe their phones will ever be successful.  One man's opinion.
  • This should be an episode like the walking dead
  • It is dead in the sense that it will never take off and be a viable option for the vast majority of people. It's not dead in that Microsoft will continue to develop it because it's part of Windows 10 and they have no other option than to adopt Android. Pretending like Microsoft's saving play is to grab enterprise is ridiculous. Companies do not supply mobile devices to their employees anymore. This isn't 2004. Employees bring their own devices and the company provisions them to work.
  • And NOBODY is going to bring a windows phone in
  • There was no W10 back in 2004. W10 ecosystem has the potential to drastically change the enterprise computing paradigm. It would mean substantial cost savings for IT to manage a uniformed, integrated and synchronized IT infrastructure. It would be IT managers' dream to have a device like Elite X3 in-house to complement their W10 PC environment. Everything would be so easy and cost effective in terms of network management, training, support and maintenance. There are already quite a few enterprise partners signing up with HP. They are all asking for a device like Elite X3. We just have to wait and see how well the rest of businesses and enterprises to adopt W10M phones. More than half of the W10 installs (>1.5 billion?) will be in the enterprises. They will be the ones that would determine W10M's future.
  • The company I work for has literally just recently supplied mobile devices for all of their managerial employees lol. And they were all windows phones. Sorry to be that guy that disproves what you said but it's true.
  • Okay, that's great for your company, but I think my point was that most companies no longer do this. Most companies have moved into this century and have realized that people want their phone to be their phone and that it's just as easy to manage these devices by setting up walls of protection and provisioning them.
  • But they do provide laptops. With Continuum, as we see on the new HP, and even the 950 to a lesser extent, that's the door that Microsoft is trying to get through -- use their strength in Enterprise to get phones to users as laptop replacements. Obviously that's not applicable in many scenarios, but as a toe hold, it doesn't have to be. For those businesses where this makes sense, either for security, overall cost-effectiveness, or because mobile touchdown stations are particularly important to their workflow, Microsoft is well-positioned to be dominant. From a single point of dominance, they can expand to related functions, expose more people to the phones, etc. Before Continuum, they didn't even have that toe-hold -- there was no real compelling function that Windows Phone did that couldn't be handled in some way by competitors.
  • As much as I don't like android or iPhone, my next phone will be an iPhone due to necessity.
  • I have an 720 and it last for almost 3 years. I need something more powerful than the 650 to get another 2 years... I really hope to have a 750 or an OEM device good enough.
  • Commenting that the sky is blue so Keith Wallace can dispute it and offer some valuable insight we don't have of such things.
  • Dick
  • Haha so true
  • All this repositioning and retrenching is a response to Microsoft failure.Case in point the 950 and 950 XL.No finger print scanner or premium feel.Who allowed that to happen ?. The average consumer does not care about Continuum or universal apps,if a particular app is not available that is what really matters.If you own a Windows phone you feel like a second class citizen, if you have an IPhone you're top of the food chain.
    Microsoft's only hope is to develop their own hero device...... the Surface Phone.They will have to knock it out of the park to succeed and market the ass off it. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I feel like their only way to some type of win is enterprise. The consumer market has sailed. With no popular app support, WM isn't going anywhere. They should cut their losses and stick to enterprise. Start with that new HP phone then Surface Phone.
  • Enterprise won't get them anywhere. That is a dead end, even if they were successful with it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Enterprise is where Microsoft have made their money for the last 20 years. Nadella knows this and acts accordingly.  
  • I just took a new job and had to get rid of my Windows Phone for an Android.  I hate it, but I don't have a choice.  The world is Android and MS can't get even simple things right like Text notifications which repeat for people who use their phone for oncall pages.  This request has been in the developer forums for years and someone at MS just closed the thread eventually instead of just implementing a fix.  When you can't provide a fix for an enterprise feature which is a deal breaker, how are you going to capture the enterprise market?  I miss my Windows Phone everyday but it's simply not funtional enough to use at my job.
  • Another great article Jason.  Keep up the good work.
  • I thought the article was bang on so far. I am also of the opinion that the MSFT devices are out to 'preview' exactly what the software is capable of, when fully released. Getting long in the tooth, all the moaning. There are a plethora of devices being offered an update when ready, and that takes time. OEM is the way this is going to go. MSFT will just have a couple of devices, and return to their roots providing software. As for feeling like a second class citizen, as mentioned above, why? Because we don't take the easy route and become a lemming? I'm not a sheep, and I am not a second class citizen because someone has a different, fashionable device to me. I've been with the other OS's, and after many years of google wanting to know pretty much everything you do, where you do it, and probably why you do it, I had had enough. I didn't like iPhone either. Didn't like the interface. I like it here. People are very shallow if they think they are top of the food chain because of a phone!! Far more important things to worry about.
    W10M is going to be a strange thing over the next couple of years, and I can see the enterprise market taking it up in a big way. My little taxi firm has. Every phone we have, including drivers phones are running W10M
  • Sorry,I have a 930,MLB.tv have again decided not to support At Bat from the start of the season.They may or may not change their minds.I'm fed up hearing "download our app ' knowing full well it won't be available.And that doesn't make me feel like a second class citizen ? Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I have more confidence in windows phone after the launch of HP & Acer new flagship phones
  • At this point, new hardware is going to make just as much of a difference as the Lumia 950 made a few months ago, as long as the operating system is still full of holes and the app gap is the worst it's ever been.
  • Probably true
  • Always enjoy reading these
  • Great article!! Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Um...driving up sales in short term for windows phone and Lumia...and then retrenching a year later...you say that was all part of the plan from the very beginning...?? If they gained something from it, It would have made sense...they haven't.
    Sorry man...but that's a ridiculous strategy and am pretty sure that wasn't what Microsoft had in mind... Nadella tried to drive up sales so that other OEMs got into the game too and then slowly retrench from the mobile game....that was probably his first plan to drive OEM adoption of the OS...when that didn't work, he decided on retrenching Lumia's presence across windows at a faster pace than initially planned...just in time for windows 10 mobile and OEMs to get off on a good start... But it definitely wasn't increase Lumia sales as much as possible and then decrease Lumia sales to as little as possible.
  • That's not what he said. He said that Nadella played the hand he was dealt, which meant riding the market gains on the low-end in the short term to try to hold onto some market share while the big changes needed to achieve success in the long run were underway. The problem is that there is no natural bridge between the two, so as one (the cheap phones) came to an end there is unfortanetly a gap before the benefits of the longer-term strategy take hold. It was also the case that the low-end play didn't work out as well as Nokia had projected, and the users left faster than expected. The 520 did well when it was first and dominant at the low end, but Android phones quickly followed in with cheap sufficiently-functional handsets.
  • All those pictures of Nadella....make me puke.
  • I'm not a big fan of Mr Nadella. I question that he is capable of having vision. He seems to me to be the incredible robotic man, always counting the cost but knowing the value of nothing. I'll be pleased if he makes a success of all this but i can't help but be disbelieving.
  • I like the new layout, great article.
  • Oh my God. I got a hard for This phone. Can't wait to get my hands on it Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The app gap is what killed Windows phone for me. A dual-OS phone from Microsoft capable of running apps from both the Windows Store and Google Play Store would be a game-changer. 
  • A dual OS phone will kill Windows as a phone platform. If Windows is currently not competing with Android in the broad market, what makes people think that people will use Windows more while it's more successful rival is available on the very same phone??? Allowing users to sample the competition is not the answer.
  • Great article as usual Jason thanks.
    "Inspire their OEM partners." That's the key here. HP has really stepped up to the plate for Windows. Hope to see others follow soon!!
  • I wouldn't trust HP. They owned webOS but didn't hesitate to discontinue webOS smartphones and tablets very quickly when sales tanked. Posted via my Nexus 7 2013 using the Windows Central App for Android
  • Can't blame them. They could not compete with the big boys.
  • Yeah.
    Neither is Elvis!
    Nor Tupac! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Given Tupac went digital and holographic. WP might go that route Posted via the Windows Central Beta App for my Lumia 950 XL
  • Words have meaning. I'm sorry that you have such difficulty understanding defintions.
  • And yet, the word "sarcasm" is completely absent from your dictionary it seems...
  • And while Microsoft is retrenching and gestating and whatever, and Nadella is saying things, I've left Windows for OS X and I'm ready to leave Windows on a phone as well if things don't happen and don't happen fast. W10M is not in a womb and it's definitely not safe - they're losing, every day, every new major app, every major iOS/Android version.
  • I love how much this community is in denial about the death of their platform. Have fun watching iteration after iteration of awesome devices with the most flawed mobile operating system in the world and apps from half a decade ago.
  • God I hate agreeing with you...but I do...my 950 has been a huge disappointment and I've about had it also.  I used to kind of laugh off the few people like me who made posts like this back when I had a 920 and then even when I got my 1520 but now the chorus of disappointed people has grown quite large.  MSFT needs to buckle up FAST.  Making strategic moves for 2017 isn't going to cut it.
  • Same here; I just rationalized it for the longest time and used the 635 and 640 because they were cheap. I wanted to support Microsoft, but in 2016, there is no reason to not have a complete operating system and healthy app store. The 950 was the disappointing nail in the coffin for me and I just got rid of everything Windows, returning the phone and selling my laptop. Now posting from OS X and I'm much happier with "It Just Works" than "Soon."
  • Four years with an iPhone before my 920, I have zero desire to return.  Hate going Android OS but going to give it a shot if MS doesn't fix this soon.  I was on a phone call with a customer of mine this morning and my 950 just decided to shut down for no reason and restart...this is UNacceptable and not the first time it's happened.  Almost all of my apps have quirky issues of locking up or not even starting.  My 950 is days away from going up on eBay.  The HTC One M9 is looking like the best looking candidate for this reluctant buyer...
  • Good article Jason!
    I believe that's the only workable long time strategy: stay away from producing phones and let manufacturers step-in.
    *******
    The question with WP always is going to be about the number/quality of apps.
    App development is like any other business.
    Profit = revenue - cost
    ******
    In this light MS should wave all fees for any new applications. This will help developers reduce their cost.
  • Manufacturers have no investment in WP. When their device inevitably fails, they are going to have no motivation to make another. This strategy has to work immediately, or it won't work at all. W10 isn't ready. It is going to be another failure. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "this current retrenching [..] is ONLY supposed to last TWO YEARS" - either Microsoft still lives in the 80's or the ambition level is extremely low. Two years is like forever! The retrenchment part of the strategy has been extremely successful already.
  • By the way,the idea of users getting used to live tiles by using W10 is very naive. The majority of users love W10 because they can use it as if nothing changed after W7.
  • Hi Wphone thanks for the comment. On face value I might be inclined to agree. However if you get a chance to read my earlier piece, How the Windows 10 Start Menu may help Windows Phone Succeed", you may find some of the arguments I make there relevant. http://www.windowscentral.com/window-10-start-menu-help-windows-phones
  • Thanks back, nice article again. Bringing back the start menu probably was good. But I see obstacles preventing conditioning into using live tiles. Most default tiles will be dead. E.g. an email live tile requires switching from good old Outlook to the new Outlook app which has its very own separate configuration, storage, storage format etc. Having applications and apps (sometimes with the same name) is confusing and unpractical. The Outlook app has limited functionality, the old application has no live tile, using both is anything but intuitive. Why didn't the 'old' apps get live tiles, and distribution via the store? Why aren't the old shortcuts and tiles made into the same thing, on the desktop where they have always been, rather than in the start menu.
  • very well written! Apart from all those things let's do some research on what consumers say, look at the reviews of buyers at BestBuy, WalMart, Amazon, carrier sites, see what is the common pattern of praise and cons, and promote the strength and try to improve the weakness. When Microsoft try to day app is their string point , it will give wrong signal rather look what is really the great sides of wp.
  • Staying with the winner that loves playing the game with winner appetizers by harnessing the culture of hard work long distances visions of view undetectable par followers rendered impossible to quickly see Microsoft in the act of will never die revolutionize a whole way with innovation the way we all must be thinking into a dimensions of limitless. They're always justified by the destruction and th rebirthing of human environment and generational transformation. Kudos Microsoft Office SharePoint ecosystem Windows of our days to day 2 in 1 processes of the 10 continuous update factors of our production power.
  • I (and 98.1% of the US smartphone market) Disagree. Good article though! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Let's hope all the apps we have now survive until the end of 2017 9r we can start over AGAIN in late 2017. Meaning we have mature apps late 2019... Patience patience...
  • You forgot to add the sarcasm identifier...who in their right mind is willing to just "hope our apps survive until 2019"??  MS gets another six months out of me at most to fix this disaster of a mobile OS and then start building up a true flagship with some good apps.  I can't even get the current ones to work properly let alone "survive"...
  • If MSFT won't do something with app gap my next phone will be Android device... Even available app are crap compared to Android app... MSFT have to support developers... Maybe pay to developers... FB, Twiter and snapchat are not important for you maybe... But millions of children care about!!! Without these customers will be WP dead...
  • Well written article. But nothing can excuse the way Microsoft started this new way of things: a mediocre new mobile OS sold to the masses with the x50 lumias. A beta OS sold to real people out there, an OS full of bugs, totally wrong design for thei 950s flagships, a total idiotic idea with the CPU in 650. Yes, there looks to be a future for the mobile world of MS, but the real question is how many users will still trust them after all the previous screwups? Many have paid real money on devices only to find themselves left out with an outdated platform or, now, with a brand new nice flagship, plagued by a buggy, messy OS. MS has played the wrong deck and kinda failed so far. they need to learn to respect the customers way more.not all are techies, insiders. For the moment, investing in a wp device is more like throwing your money to the toilet. You need to stop defending MS for obvious mistakes that MUST not be made by such a company.  Trying to find an excuse each time, won't brainwash anyone.  
  • I have a feeling there will be one more mobile OS reboot from MS in the near future. The use of x86 or x64 processor on phones would provide legacy app support with continuum. Phones now have 4GB ram and up to 128GB space which means they are pretty much caught up with lower end laptop specs of early Ultrabook's.
  • If MS gave up on Windows Phone then they would totally be at the mercy of Apple and Google.  Both companies who would just love to kill off all of Microsoft's crossplate form apps like Office, One Drive, and Bing.  It is in Microsoft's best interest to keep Windows Phone going.
  • So you're basically saying they should keep it going and keep suckering us into buying products that get worse and worse.  No thanks.
  • Think 1st party is done with hopefully. The 2nd party hardware like Google Nexus line seems the best bet. 3rd party then isn't threatened by MS and encouraged. With UWP apps becoming the norm, Windows 10 mobile isn't dead. 1st party is. Also, where is the 64 OS of Windows 10 mobile? 3 years into Apple and even Google having 64 bit OS. I love OneCore, but who's stupid idea was to develope it for 32 bit phones?
  • maybe for people with 1gb ram devices
  • This guy! Deserve a raise! We need more articles like this
  • On desktop Windows is the defacto default since that's where all the software is.  Now they are experiencing the other side on mobile.  Google and iOS have all the software.  Very difficult for Windows Mobile to catch up in mindshare.
  • It isn't 2008. Windows isn't where all the software is or where development is happening. Microsoft isn't even one quarter of the personal device market. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I was going to wait to replace my Lumia 920 until it breaks, but Win 10's performance is so atrocious - long waits to "resume," "load," etc., random app crashes, and all the rest - it's just no fun to use, let alone the lack of apps that I would be using if they were offered on Windows Mobile. When my XBox Music subscription runs out, I'll probably buy one of those Blu Android phones from Amazon - you can get a nice phone with Lollipop for $150. And I've used Windows since the 1980s, and used Windows CE, Windows Mobile, a Plays for Sure mp3 player, Zune, Windows Mobile 5, 6, 7.5, 7.8, 8, and now 10. MS failed to promote and develop every advantage its products had first - music store, subscription music, great music software (Zune), bookstore, radio, and now has bollixed up the smooth efficiency of Windows Mobile 7 - 8 on inexpensive hardware. BTW, Nadella's strategy became clear when he wrote off the Nokia acquisition. That hung the failure in mobile around Balmer's neck for all time. Nadella can let Mobile survive as an R & D project at no cost because of the writedown, but he will never devote significant resources to it, and will eventually close it down.
  • You run Windows 10 on a Lumia 920 and blame the OS for performance issues? Yeah, go buy a Blu android, you deserve one.
  • I run Windows 10 Mobile on a Lumia 950 and face the same exact issues.  I am one of the biggest Microsoft fans you will come across, but I'm going to call it how I see it, Windows 10 Mobile in its current form is a big letdown.  All of the great things about 8.1 are gone, and in its place is a new OS that lags and crashes.  Sure, if it does it once or twice, it's forgivable, but when the standard PHONE APP takes a minute to resume sometimes (or crashes!), that's it.  When I go to reply to a text and the Messages app flashes on the screen then crashes out to Start, that's it.  When even the START SCREEN has a resume time, that's it. The newly announced LG G5 is looking mighty attractive right now...
  • I picked a 950 up in an AT&T store and my first experience was a loading screen when I hit the home button! So bad. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes, you have researched to great lengths and have come to form your opinion based on extensive experience. I would not buy a Lumia 950 if I were you.
  • Never seen a loading screen on our $100 Samsung bloat-phone. Wouldn't have bought the 950 anyways, but that doesn't make the experience any better. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The one thing I cannot confirm about the 950XL (I don't own and haven't tested the 950) is that it lags. It doesn't. It crashes, yes, although it does so a lot less than it did at first. It also hasn't crashed during usage for me, but from time to time I find it has rebooted overnight or in my pocket (frustrating since it's impossible to figure out ​why ​).
  • I have the 950, was one of the first Thanksgiving night to get one, and although 97% of the time it's smooth and great, the other 3% of the time are things that shouldn't be happening, like the phone app crashing when scrolling through the recent calls list.  And it is very inconsistent. There was once when the phone crashed and rebooted in the middle of typing a text message.  It happens a lot less frequently now, but critical phone apps, like calling and messaging, should be rock solid on a _phone_.  It's improving, but I'm tired of waiting for things to improve.  It's been a constant cycle since the release of Windows Phone 7.  Mango fixed everything, but then Windows Phone 8 is released.  8.1 fixed everything, but then they move on to W10M. What's next?
  • I WISH that was the only thing I have to deal with.  I also picked up my 950 launch day and the very first thing the ATT rep and I did after inserting the sim card crashed the phone and it stuck on loading screen for 15 minutes.  Even after removing the battery.  I wanted the phone so badly and thought it was gorgeous so took it home anyway, and what a mistake.  Mine will shut down in the middle of phone calls, throws me into the homescreen constantly in the middle of using apps (if they load at all) and is sluggish and slow for EVERYTHING including the camera (if it evens focuses preperly).  So basically I can't even trust it to run the three most imprortant functions of a flagship, calls, texts and taking pictures.  I had the 920 on launch, I got the 1520 on launch.  Both a little buggy but improved.  They were nothing like the mess W10 on this phone is.  And I've seen zero improvement since launch day for this one.
  • More Nadella apologists articles. Nadella is clueless and coward. Face it!
  • My oppinion is that Microsoft simply have to include OEMs (HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus), as well as current mobile leaders (Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG). Then, MS should focus on exemplary models (as Surface book in notebook segment), and leave models diversity to 3rd party. This is the way to gain market share, news presence, advertising ... All by its partners. I have no doubts that in no time Windows would be very close ti Android, and well ahead of iPhone.
  • The mobile phone is a maturing product. It can't get bigger, unless pockets get bigger. It can get a little faster, a little clearer, but I can't read the NY Times any faster on a faster phone. They can't get much cheaper - you can buy phones that would have been premium 2 years ago for $50. Without any tech or cost revolutions on the horizon, the market will simply consolidate around the established Android and iPhone standards.
  • Nadella's "vision" doesn't include WP or W10M. Just face it and move on. MS is run by a bunch of F-ups now.
  • When someone has to write an article about something not being dead, it is usually when something is already dead. The vast majority of people have spoken, they don't want windows phones. Just move on and use your resources on improving products that were once great like Xbox Live. It has been down wayyy too much since the release of Xbox One. Add W10 for PC's to that too.
  • Agreed, MS have missed the boat with WP but their all most complete disrespect for XBox and other products is shameful
  • They missed the boat, but they continue to swim after it. They need something new. Windows phones are dead, it is crazy for Microsoft to continue wasting time on a such a failure. Do they think it will magically change when each "reboot" looks exactly the same?! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • We are hapy that we have buy our first lumias now. They are realy a choice for a great price. When i see wat i get for total 803 € than is my answer : a awesome lumia 950 XL with a sandisk micro sd card from 200 gb that brings my phone to a total memory from 232 gb. Ofcourse you can prefer to buy a iPhone 6s plus from 128 gb for 1069 € and al the restrictions from apple. The difference from 266 € is very welcome and i am sure that the lumia 950 XL so much more specs and quality give's than the iPhone. I hope that many people give microsoft the posabilaty to grown up to the top with a stable firmware from windows 10 mobile because that is the weakest point in windows mobile at this moment. Hardware 10 points and firmware for me 6 points. Also must give microsoft every lumia owner the same updates because i have see that our lumia 950 and 950 XL die not have received the latest 2 official production updates in Belgium. Many other users from other country's receive al these updates to the phone. Wat is the reason that Microsoft forghet Belgium ?
  • Congrats. you've just turned down 803EUR to the toilet. You've bought a phone running a beta buggy OS, lacking updated apps. Good luck being a guinea pig for Microsoft.
  • Windows Phone is much more restricted than iPhone. It isn't even close. The only option you have is arranging your square icons on the home screen. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft has one very important card, how they play it will decide on their mobile future, that is:   WINDOWS 10   ;)
  • You mean the platform that is out sold by iOS let alone Android? Android sales are more than three times the sales of Windows devices. With Chrome and Android combining, Microsoft has some real competition brewing. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You mean the platform that is out sold by iOS let alone Android? Android sales are more than three times the sales of Windows devices. With Chrome and Android combining, Microsoft has some real competition brewing. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Loving the new app so far on my 950! I think the biggest result of the new app is that I actually comment on stuff and engage in the conversation. I previously avoided that because I was only using the webpage. As for the article, I appreciate the occasional "refocus". It helps me to remain calm when I think about the future of W10M. There tends to be a lot of negativity in the media about it, but these articles along with recent unveilings of high quality and feature rich OEM models from non-Microsoft companies bring hope.
  • That's a long plan but where are the apps and games.... Why to plan such a long duration to give us a file manager and a Bluetooth received folder...
  • Even though it is not dead ...In youtube they compare the two mobile os only and they are leaving the win10m... it was hard to found the win10 reviews in youtube
  • "Jason at it again - and four more parts to come... how many Nadella pictures and quotes can an average reader take? Stay tuned, we are about to find out!" ;) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Still completely optimistic for the platform and attentive to its progress! I've never lost the faith, and I think that faith will ultimately be rewarded. However, I will say that if 2017 is the magic date, I really wish there wouldn't have been such hype about 2015, which in the final analysis turned out to be pretty anticlimactic. I think a less confusing message wouldve served them better. I think if nothing else, we'd have a lot less loud haters everywhere! While I 100% agree with you that everything we've seen has been part of a deliberate, methodical, long term strategy of awesomeness rather than a continual scrambling to recover from failure after failure...I still must concede that the complainers' gripe that it is precisely that is certainly understandable as with the myopia of not keeping the bigger picture in view, what else would it look like? Even if MS is right on track with their strategy, which I suspect they are, and even if the interim products themselves are perfectly decent, which again, I think they are, they just handled the message soooooo poorly in 2015, I think, and it has created something of a mess! Nevertheless, this later date actually helps me out, as I have also had to retrench, only in my case, in Apple products. The later "rebirth" gives me a lot more time to shore myself up on all these fronts, sock away some cash, and really ready myself to take the plunge when the real relaunch actually finally happens. Keep up the great work, Jason!!!
  • Just one observation from my side. While that 'magic date' is given as Q4 2017, unlike windows 10 annuncement last year, there will be no pushing back things for that magic moment. We are witnessing a gradual move already. App bridges have finally started to work, widnows 10 is geting more popular than many haters/sceptics predicted and most importantly more and more OEMs are coming on-board. As predicted in the article by that magic date, app gap would have come down and windows 10 will be a far more familiar OS for most users. Even for a conservative company like mine, I expect a migration to windows 10 in second half of 2017. For many others too it will happen before or around the same time. So there won't be too much hype or mystique about the device getting launched then. There will be more of an eager anticipation.
  • Thanks for the reply! And I definitely appreciate what you're saying! Keep in mind, my critiques were not from the perspective or in the spirit of the flaming bags of doo doo the haters are throwing! Those guys just make butt wipes of themselves anyway. Instead my critiques are from a voice and a heart that is friendly to the platform, and very eager to see it succeed. I hope you're right ------ and I think you're right too! Cheers! :-)
  • W7 will be the savior, W8 will be the savior, Nokia will be the savior, W10 will be the savior, 2017 is the year!
    Pigs fly.
  • Ah, now there's a case in point. :-/ I know I keep asking this question over and over, but to date, nobody's rendered a good answer: -IF- (and I said "if") Windows sucks so bad, and its case is so hopeless that there doesn't warrant a solution (other than annihilation)..... ....then what the HELL are you still doing here, wasting your life, and ours? That is a serious, sincere question! It is not rhetorical. I am ACTUALLY asking you (-YOU-) that question!
  • Well, the site is called Windows Central, not Windows Mobile Central.   Most users of other Microsoft products ('big' desktop Windows, Office, Xbox) aren't also necessarily Windows Mobile fans; in fact, statistically, they're most likely using Android or iOS given the market share numbers.
  • Being honest and not delusional about OneCore on mobile should be applauded, not put down. Honesty seeing the failure allows for solutions.
  • That's true for those who actually are offering solutions. Those are not the people in my targets here, nor do they make up the majority of the negative voices on here. See my more lengthy reply to Johnny Tremaine.
  • Well, yes, of course. In fact, everything I've said here has been typed on an iPhone. So I'm a part of that myself - other than that I am keeping a close, optimistic eye on Windows Phone, and hope to jump on board as a "multiplatform" user as soon as it's feasible on Verizon. But that still doesn't answer the central question I was after. Maybe I should've been more specific. So I'll own the blame there. By "what the hell are you doing here", I didn't necessarily mean "what are you doing here on Windows Central", I meant, "what are you doing here wasting your time commenting doom on these stories (or heck, even reading them in the first place)? What a colossal waste of time that is! I mean, it would be one thing if a person were offering constructive criticism to help right a ship they feel is listing. Even as a passionate believer in the idea and direction of Windows 10, did my own post not also contain criticism of it's own? I don't have a problem with that at all! But that's markedly different than what I'm on about. If you'll forgive the mixed metaphor, it's stealing the mic just to dance on the grave. It's jaded, butthurt people offering nothing constructive at all to the discussion, who, if they are accomplishing anything more than absolutely nothing, they are actually doing worse than absolutely nothing by becoming self-fulfilling prophets by sowing their own disillusionment and discontent to others like a fart in an elevator. That fart in he elevator effect is okay if there's something constructive to it, for the betterment of he platform or the group, but there's not. It's empty incendiary internetting. Butthurts butthurting. Listen, if I ever became so jaded about Windows Phone, and my outlook became so bleak....do you know what I'd do? I'd be Mr. Gone, and not waste another minute of my time with it. I'd go do DuoLingo, or continue to work on mastering FM and Wavetable synth over Deflemask. I'd play video games, or read a book, or go out and smoke a cigar, or wall in my neighbor's driveway as a prank - something, ANYTHING other than waste another minute pecking out empty calorie incendiaries on an awkward iPhone touch pad. I'd have better ways to waste my life. I'm only still here because I still believe. Now, do people have the right to be trolls this way? To make their own butthurt everybody's problem? Yes. Amen and Amen. I'm a firm believer in "freedom -OF- speech" over against "freedom -FROM- speech". Absolutely. But that also gives me the right to continue to put the question, when I see this...to "picket their demonstration" as it were..... .....cause all they're really doing is "Fred Phelps"ing. Cheers.
  • If windows 10 mobile is not released as official public release to all Lumia then it is considered as DEAD... Any ways windows / Microsoft is half dead by now...
  • They should kill off Windows Mobile OS and use CyanogenMod.
  • Win10m - getting better and better by time (in slow mode but still it's a improvements)
    Android - using it for first month or two is good.. After that.. It gets slower and laggy
    Iphone - slimmer longer bigger xD
  • Hmm, tell that to my 950 which has been a slow dog from day one, not too mention majority of apps don't even work properly.  W10 Mobile is a joke thrown on us by the company that needed to get it out the door and worry about the bugs later...I'm through rewarding MS for half-arsed attempts at flagships and OSs.
  • Great Analysis Jason. I too never believed the pundits who were just too quick to write the epitaph for Microsoft, some more than once. However, the way you have joined to dots is exactly in the right direction. 2015, might have been the most disappointing in terms of sales and market share etc. but I don't think I have seen a more promising year than 2015 in recent times for any organization. We all knew windows 10 is coming but at lest I had no idea of continuum, despite suggestions that it will run on all devices similarly regardless of the form factor. Then there is Hololens. It really took me by surprise. all this raised hopes that things are actually pretty good at Microsoft and mobility is at the core of its strategy. Windows 10 was more about mobility than anything else. Now with so many OEM launches since then, and with MS too following the steps as expected, I am even more assured that the future for windows mobile is bright. However come Q4 2017, we may have a very different view of what a smartphone should be all about.
  • so many OEMS?? 2 or 3 of them are known brands...the rest are cheapos... Who would be stupid enough to trust their money in a noname OEM??? an unknown brand?? You guys really like to dream a lot! :))))
  • @mariusmuntean That's a valid question. I had an opportunity to addresse a similar concern on episode 5 of Windows Central's Onecast. Though many of the growing list of OEM partners are not broadly known I am certain that they are very familiar to those individuals in the regions they serve. Thus their regional influence will be an asset to Microsoft as they reach for consumers through those OEMs in those regions.
  • Too little, too late. Ten years of "next year" combined with total corporate apathy means, other than a tiny business niche, WP is dead.
    Shame, I do luv my 925.
  • Regarding Surface Phone: If Continuum is built in and it runs regular W10 software, then they could have something. But if it needs a dongle and it still is shackled to the crap-tacular WP store, it will be yet another non=starter.
  • Continuum is built into the OS and works wirelessly over miracast as well as with a dock. Business apps run fine on miracast. Media streaming can be laggy, we'll see what the new Wireless Display Adapter is like.
  • I mean built in to the phone, with no dongle required. Asking people to pay an extra $50 for your single differentiating feature is a doomed enterprise. See also: Kinect.
  • Dead it is. W10M is a buggy mess with no apps. W10M phones are overpriced meh. Current phones if running Android with all the apps of the world would still be overpriced. 60-70% off the prices and also off the app store premium now could give WP a fighting chance to come back from the dead.
  • Fanboys won't get the picture anyway...But hey, Microsoft did manage to inovate with something: they managed to sell new phones with a broken,beta unpolished, half working OS :)))) and some are buying it :)))
  • Only on the trial base. After they will suffer they will abandon much quickly
  • For the guy that gave me thumbs down: It won't solve anything :)). The truth hurts doesn't it?
  • Credit where credit is due: this is an Apple invention. They've managed to amass billions in profits from decent hardware with a mediocre OS with a ridiculous price tag and still the Apple fanboys are keeping their asscheeks spread waiting for the next iteration being shoved up there.
  • If they really wanna make it, then they must focus on ENTERPRISE MARKET only......
  • Didn't Blackberry try a "Connected" device that had everything but email integration and failed miserably? Lots has changed since then, but that Notebook with nothing but a display is a lot to carry around. But I guess we'll see soon! Good Luck to HP with this new device! A slightly smaller version would be great for the Smartphone consumer out there if they ever want to go away from their Corporate Customer focus!
  • MY FIRST COMMENT IN WINDOWS CENTRAL NEW APP!!!
  • The OS isn't technically dead, as Microsoft is keeping it going obviously, and it'll be used, as seen in the HP device, in future enterprise devices. But to most of the large mobile software/app developers, it's all but dead, if not completely irrelevant.
  • I do agree with a comment made further back: When you have to keep proclaiming that your product, in this case a mobile OS, *isn't* dead, chances are, it likely is this side of a Walking Dead zombie.  
  • Funny thing Windows central app in Android is way better. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Dead is dead. Believed so long...now just give up.
    No more faith in Microsoft Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So, I guess future first-party hardware will be something like a proof of concept or rather a concept phone (analogous to concept car). I am fine with 3rd party emulating MS concept phone (or surface phone or whatever you want to call it) but I am also concern of great camera hardwares - PureView and Zeiss combo. I can dare say that so far, PureView cameras on MS (Nokia) flagships are still the best. So far all other 3rd party hardware manufacturers do not seem to focus on camera (see Acer, HP, Alcatel, Nuans, etc.). It seems that they are either more business centric for high end models and mid-ranger with little emphasis on imaging. I am hoping more 3rd party hardware manufacturers that are interested in camera technology to adopt W10M like LG, HTC, or Samsung (well, I will still have to see the camera reviews on these new flagships).
  • I'm reading this from my almost 3year-old HTC 8xt on Sprint via App (wish Sprint could upgrade)
  • Surface like phone in 2016 and an actual flagship in 2017..i thought the surface phone was goin to be the actual flagship
  • @wibgyor The Surface phone will be a flagship. But since the two year rentrenchment will not have yet expired, like the Elite X3, it will be a flagship geared to enterprise. As I nte above, by 2017 Q4, the flagship released then will likely be consumer focused. EXCERPT: "That positions the company for a potential introduction of a consumer focused flagship "phone" in Q4 of 2017. "
  • This is a hopeful article. I had to detour into Android for a while when Verizon didn't get the 950/950XL...more or less I am liking Android but I do miss Windiows Phone. There are apps now I do NEED that can't be had on Windows phone or a mobile (Amazon Alexa to name one, so I can use the shopping list option.) And I actually do like Android Wear with my smartwatch. But I do prefer the Windows "Phone" experience and will be patient as I remain on Android for the platform to come back to life and thrive...
  • Thanks for the response garak0410. Hope to see you back on the platform soon! Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • I absolutely will come back if the "app gap" is solved and Verizon is back on board. I still have my ICON and I do keep it updated with the latest builds for sure...It is just no longer a daily driver... :( 
  • I completely agree. I literally only Switched because of the app gap and the need to be able to communicate using certain apps that apple offer that I cannot get through Windows. However I am still a huge windows fan and would go back in a second if they got there app stuff figured out. If they can make a comeback I will buy them again. They were the best phones I ever had and would totally go back.
  • Windows ten is the best Samsonics Computech Systems